BY MIKE OCHONMA
- Q4 2022 or Q1 2023 targeted as take-date
Traffic flow within the Lagos metropolis are expected to show massive improvement as governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has promised that the first phase of the Red line will begin by the last quarter of 2022 or first quarter of 2023, with a capacity to move an estimated 500,000 passengers daily.
Only last week, the Lagos state governor took delivery of two sets of 10 cars new Talgo 330kmph speed trains from the United States of America for Lagos Red Line rail project as part his administration’s commitment to traffic management and public transportation.
He completed the acquisition deal of the trains at a public event inside the Milwaukee facilities of Spanish train manufacturer Talgo Incorporated in the United States, last Tuesday. The Red line corridor which has a total of a 37-km track rail project started by the governor will have 11 stations and when completed, will be the first operational metro system in West Africa.
Accompanied by the commissioner for transportation, Frederic Oladeinde; special adviser to the governor on works, Aramide Adeyoye, and managing director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Abimbola Akinajo, said the state government was excited to complete the purchase of the two brand new trains. The delegation inspected the interior design of the newly acquired Talgo 330kmph intra-city metropolitan trains.
“We hope this (purchase of the trains) will be the beginning of a mutually beneficial business relationship. Providing source of livelihood for our citizens is all about providing jobs for our people and that is what we are doing. It is about ensuring we can build our economy; people can move from one location to another and businesses can grow.
The state chief executive pointed that, part of what the administration have done in the last two and half years is to have an integrated urban mass transportation system, where it will be using road infrastructure, waterway infrastructure and rail infrastructure to move over 20 million Lagosians within and around the city.
On his part, Cavalier Johnson, the acting Milwaukee Mayor who received the Sanwo-Olu in the city, said: “It is a little bittersweet. I am sending my congratulations to the governor of Lagos state, but also a little disappointed that we missed out on the opportunity to have those train sets operating here in Milwaukee and in Wisconsin.”
The chief executive and president, Talgo USA Antonio Perez, said: “For us, it is important that our trains are utilised. It doesn’t make any good for the trains that we built to be stored and kept without passengers riding them”.